As the Mexican saying goes, it’s pouring over wet ground. The Sept. 19 earthquake that shook Mexico City and surrounding states was the latest in a string of natural disasters to hit Mexico amid the regular stream of crime and corruption plaguing the country.
The feats of Frida, a rescue dog helping find survivors amid the rubble, are providing a heartening respite. The 7-year-old Labrador retriever is part of a growing search and rescue team—mostly composed of humans—that has assembled in affected areas over the past two days. As the hours go by, the chances of finding people alive dwindle, so the powerful sniffing skills of the canine team members are crucial.
Frida is a veteran first-responder. She’s part of a military unit that has been deployed to multiple disasters, credited with helping save the lives of more than 50 people before she was sent to the latest earthquake. (She also contributed to efforts after the quake in southern Mexico on Sept. 7.)
Clad in a visor and protective booties, she sniffs through the debris to find signs of life. You can see her in action in the video below. ”Her valuable help and love for humans push her to give the most of herself to save lives,” reads a tweet from Mexico’s navy.
Her latest mission involved working at the site of one of the most heartbreaking collapses, that of the Enrique Rébsamen school in Mexico City, where at least 21 children and four adults died.
Rescue workers were still looking for survivors midday Thursday (Sept. 21,) including, according to some media reports, a girl who became known as Frida Sofía. The effort turned into world news as responders and authorities released details of a student who wiggled her hand under the rubble and called out “Help!” However, on Thursday afternoon Marine officials said all children were accounted for, and that there never was a Frida Sofía.
In the picture below, Frida the dog gets some rest.
She’ll be needed again. Unfortunately, there’s still plenty of rescue work to be done in Mexico City.
Mexicans are grateful for her skills, as well as for the moments of lightheartedness she is providing. Here’s one way they’re showing it. In the image below, Mexico’s 500-peso bill has been photoshopped so Frida the dog replaces the other beloved Mexican Frida who’s normally on it, painter Frida Kahlo.